Stories of Personal Courage

My friends like to share stories of personal courage with me that they have themselves read and been inspired by. And there was a time – a period covering roughly thirty years – during which I was fascinated by them, mining individual stories of personal strength for nuggets of inspiration and advice when I needed it most. Some of the accounts I have read, I have taken to heart, and they have undoubtedly played their part in keeping me sane and alive.  

Nowadays, I feel as if I have found more of my courage, and so, I simply want to live as happily as I can, one day at a time. Does this make me unsympathetic? Not at all. When I am asked a question, or spoken to, I listen, as I hope I am listened to. But I also want to live freely, untrammelled by feelings of regret or pity.

I would not, and do not, want anyone to pity me; and therefore, while I do sincerely admire people who are living examples of courage every single day, I want not so much to admire them, as to enjoy their company, share their jokes and wish them well.

All of us, whether heroine or oppressed worker bee, at heart just want to be seen for who we are: not placed on a pedestal, nor looked up to, nor discriminated against or judged unfairly as we grovel trying to pull together our dignity from way down the queue.

I want to live on the level with others. I am not a mascot for the “unfortunate”, mainly because I don’t characterise myself or others as unfortunate, nor do I have unique access to spiritual insights, wisdom or empathy. There may be times when I feel I have something I want or need to say, perhaps voicing the views of those who may find it harder to speak out or be heard; but in this, as in most things, I cherish the hope that we are all alike in campaigning for what is meaningful to us.

Are my ambitions at risk of sounding flaccid and pedestrian? Perhaps, though while I do have ambition, my stamina is not always up to par; and for me, walking on the level is an achievement in itself.

Thanks for reading.

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